Restaurant Review: DaDong in New York Elevates Peking Duck

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We were there, of course, for the DaDong “Su Bu Ni” Roast Duck, but started with several smaller dishes including the wonderfully satisfying sweet-and-sour pork ribs. Crystal Vegetable Buns with Bamboo Shoot and Shepherd’s Pure were an equal match.

Our wine selection? An informed but unassuming sommelier helped us choose a Grüner Veltliner from J.S. Schmid in the Kremstal from the impressive and reasonably priced wine list, while she lamented that few of her guests went this route.

Everything at DaDong was beautifully presented, Instagram ready, and the waitstaff is attentive and knowledgeable without any hint of obsequiousness.

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Finally, it was time for the star entrée: the Su Bu Ni Roast Duck.

Our waiter, as he set the multi-plate dish out on the table, explained that there were three ways to eat the duck, although we ultimately found four. Start with the thin pancake, add scallion and a drop of the sweet black bean sauce; then perhaps fill the sesame puff with julienned melon and cucumber, a splash of raw garlic paste, and again the black bean sauce; and finally, in a revelatory moment, simply dip the skin alone into a small pile of sugar.

The duck was moist, the skin more crisp than skin has a right to be, and the endless experimentation in how we might eat the duck.

It seemed appropriate to end with what the menu called Traditional Beijing Snacks, a kind of Chinese petits fours.

The painstaking presentation of traditional Chinese dishes with a modern international interpretation made for a memorable experience. “Da” means “big” in Mandarin and the restaurant clearly lives up to its name, starting with the massive front door, the chef’s well deserved reputation, and dangling golden sculptures along with delightful food and service.

THE DETAILS

DaDong
3 Bryant Park
New York, N.Y. 10036
www.dadongny.com

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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